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How to Forgive and Let Go of the Past!


Next to love, forgiveness is the most misunderstood concept. Forgiveness has been twisted by a lack of awareness as to how it functions. To forgive does not mean we must rejoin with our ex-lovers, free criminals from prisons, return to old jobs or anything else absurd. We are taught to believe that if we are to forgive the one who hurt us, it must manifest in some form of behavior. Forgiveness is often seen as weakness.

Forgiveness is a function of love that seeks to understand the negative impact of another person and then to release the pain and find inner peace. When you choose to forgive somebody this does not mean that you acknowledge they’re cruel behavior as acceptable, for doing this would be dishonest. Above all, it does not mean that we assume a superior (holier than thou) attitude to pardon the sins others.

Let’s explore the truth about forgiveness. The meaning of the verb forgive, translates into “to let go”, which is the function of genuine forgiveness. Forgiveness is the releasement (letting go) of negative feelings generated in you by another person. It is your responsibility to let go of the hurt that another produces. The other person can apologize to you for their negative impact, but you still have to let go of the hurt feelings in order for forgiveness to become a healing experience.

What makes forgiveness so difficult, for so many? The greatest obstacle for everyone who is on a spiritual path is the negative ego. The negative ego loves to hold onto a grudge and is our greatest source of resistance toward forgiveness. Our negative ego is what blocks our happiness and peace of mind. Ultimately, we have a choice to support our EGO or our SOUL, to try to be RIGHT or to find INNER PEACE.

Forgiveness like all soul qualities (peace, love, innocence, respect, oneness, and passion) does not require a type of behavior. It begins with a relinquishing of emotional baggage and the choice to function from your Soul versus your negative ego. Forgiveness is a willingness to perceive everyone, including your self, as either feeling and expressing love or perceiving its absence and having a need for more love. It is a relinquishing of a harmful train of thought that leads to constricting feelings. Forgiveness offers freedom to live a full and harmonious life.

The bi-product of forgiveness is our own willingness and ability to forget. If we cannot seem to forget then we have never completely let go. Holding on to pain only weaken us and produces misery. The purpose of forgetting is to prevent the mind from becoming a battlefield. Negative feelings evaporate whenever they are looked at calmly and honestly and are dealt with responsibly. Often this process is gradual. The desire to function from your Soul (love) and to live your life in peace is the greatest motivation for forgiving another.

If you feel that forgiving adds one more grudging obligation to your life, you are functioning from your negative ego. Understanding that forgiveness is the doorway to your happiness and is the choice to function with love. When you are attacked by someone you must first deal with the hurt that you feel. Forgiveness is not a short cut to avoid dealing with your emotions. Too many try to forgive without releasing their anger and hurt. This common mistake only represses the anger and it putrefies into resentment and bitterness.

A great habit to cultivate is to pause whenever you are having difficulty releasing an upset from your mind. Look directly, and in detail at the contents of your thoughts. Dissect your emotions. Step back from them for a moment and gain new perspective. Write them down in a journal to gain deeper clarity. And give yourself time to forgive, it doesn’t have to be instantaneous, but know it is necessary to your happiness and peace.

A person who claims they “love everyone equally” and are never hurt by others are not more spiritually evolved, but more likely emotionally repressed. To be a spiritual, doesn’t mean you have to like the ego of everyone that crosses your path, for you would then become transparent and lose your individuality. Liking somebody and letting go of someone’s negative impact upon you are two completely different issues.

Steps to Forgiveness:

1. Release the charged emotions: Take a legal pad and write at the top of the page, the person you wish to forgive. Write out all your feelings about the situation that you are forgiving. Release the anger, hurt, frustration or any feelings you have due to this experience. Take your time and feel your words as you write them down. If forgiveness is still difficult you may want to read my article on, Transforming Anger.

2. Forgive yourself: Close your eyes and relax. Mentally repeat I forgive myself for allowing myself to be hurt/disappointed by this experience with _____________(person’s name).

3. Express your emotions meditatively: While you are still meditating begin to express your thoughts and feelings to the person you are forgiving. Let them know how much it has hurt you and how upset you are by their actions. If you are so angry you want to hit them, then do it (IMAGINATIVELY) express your pent up emotions within your imagination.
NOTE: Your intention is to release the feelings around this person and to forgive them. That is where the energy will flow. You will not be sending this person negative energy unless that is your intention.

4. Forgive and let go: With your eyes still closed, sense a light coming down from above you. It is a warm healing light that surrounds you and creates a safe environment for forgiveness. Visualize the person you wish to forgive, and see them inside the light. Mentally tell them, I forgive you for hurting/disappointing me in this way. Mentally reaffirm what you are forgiving them for. Then release them into the light.

When you finally understand that you can generate the healing of forgiveness, by choice. It will never happen until you take full responsibility for every facet of your life and your relationships with others. When you stop looking for love, security and peace outside yourself, and discover it within, you are finally set free and the magic of forgiveness has worked its spell.

michaiel patrick bovenes is a personal empowerment teacher, speaker and author. since 1994, he’s published a popular series of guided meditations and teahes classes called, “soul-utions”. michaiel lives in san francisco, ca and teaches throughout the usa. receive free meditation mp3 download at his website at: relaxationmeditations.com

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Listed: November 22, 2008 8:08 am